I actually wasn’t that impressed with Edmodo and Schoolbinder. I do think they bring some good organizational tools to the table, however, I find that most school already have these systems of posting assignments online, having teacher portals for grades, and allowing teachers to have class sites in place already. As some people have said, schoolbinder doesn’t seem to be incredibly useful without paying. And Edmodo, while more interactive, is just a school version of facebook. I think a kid would say, “Why do I need this when I already have facebook? Just make a fan page if you want to post stuff.” While I agree it is good to use media to tap into what the kids are already doing, and I especially like the technology of videos and certain math programs (ie geometer sketchpad), I know from talking to kids, facebook is already a big distraction to them when they are trying to sit down and study. The advice I have heard given to them has been, “When you are trying to study, turn off your phone and turn off your computer. You need no distractions.” I can’t say that I disagree with this.
Posts tagged ‘Assignment Two Edmodo and SchoolBinder’
One of the reasons why I would consider using Edmodo in my classroom is that I can get very disorganized with things when I’m using paper and markers, when it comes to handing out assignments to students, keeping track of every little thing, and getting everyone’s grades down in one book. Also, my handwriting can get sloppy at times. I feel that having so many books or so many records to keep track of on paper can get very cumbersome for me. That is why I may like to use Edmodo. I can have every assignment posted there, so that students can always check there to confirm what the homeworks are and when they are due. In addition, I can record every single grade there. I can keep track of the records of all my students. This is a lot neater than having a bunch of papers lying around. In addition, I can post important alerts and updates even if I’m not in class, and the students will see them when they check Edmodo. The other thing I like is that it is great for use if I am teaching multiple classes. I can create a different group for each class, and subgroups for different class periods, and students can log on to their respective groups. Also, I can organize different files by category into their respective folders, and make handouts available to students on the site. I do not see any drawbacks or anything that wouldn’t work for me on this site. I can also connect with other professionals and colleagues on this site to share important teaching strategies, ideas, and updates. I only see good that can come out of this. In addition, it is professional, as it deals only with academics and education, so I don’t have to worry about my students trying to friend me like on facebook or other social media sites.
I also like School Binder because it offers the same benefits as Edmodo. Actually, I like School Binder better because on Edmodo, I did not find a place where I can keep attendance, or have a class roster right in front of me. On School Binder, there is a section on the right when you click on any class, where you can access the class roster, record and edit attendance, as well as keep track of grades. Each aspect has its own link where you simply slick. On Edmodo, it is a little harder to access any specific category. In addition, I did not find anything in Edmodo that sends reminders when assignments are due. Teachers have so many classes and assignments and students to keep track of, so an email reminder would be helpful. If Edmodo does have a reminder option, they did not do a very good job of making it visible. On School Binder, there is a clearly visible reminder option. It creates flexibility because you get to choose how you want to be reminded- text message, email, on the website, or any combination of those. When I get reminders, if School Binder gives me the option to automatically send reminders to my students, I would do that. Otherwise, I would just send out a mass email reminder or some kind of public notice on School Binder. This feels more organized that Edmodo, so I am picking this over Edmodo.
Edmodo seems to be a very resourceful tool for both teachers and students. I appreciate the fact that Edmodo is interactive. There are webinars and blogs and ways you can create groups. I am happy that all these services are free. It disappointed me to find out that SchoolBinder was not completely free. It’s free if you sign up for the very minimum service but where can that take you with a class?
In including any technology in my classroom, I have to consider the pockets of students’ parent(s) or guardian. It was very disappointing that a teacher couldn’t use the organizer without paying the fee. Furthermore, the students could not save as much as they wanted without paying for an upgrade. SchoolBinder seems relatively simple and it seems students will be able to easily navigate their way through the site. Edmodo, while not being as easy to navigate as SchoolBinder, has more features and useful tools. Edmodo is a real community of teachers and learners. I like the posts about the future being bright at P.S. 287. It gives a teacher the push they need in a field that can be so easily discouraging. This center for sharing learning experiences can show urban youth that success and high achievement are both acceptable in their communities as well as attainable.
Both of these networks are great for the classroom. However, if I were to use any of these for saving lessons or calendars, I think backing up the information would be sensible. You never know when a page will crash or will no longer exist. In viewing both networks, Edmodo is definitely my favorite.
I have signed up for both and will continue to explore.